Atari SW programming: on real HW or in emul/debug. ?

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Atari SW programming: on real HW or in emul/debug. ?

Post by Petari » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:17 pm

I looked some introduce posts recently, and seen many who talked about planning doing some programming on real Atari machines.
This reminded me on discussions about where (on what) is better to perform programming of Atari SW - what can be making complete new SW or just updating, improving existing one.
There are people who say that only real thing is programming on real (target) HW . And there are those who say that with emulators can achieve it faster, more comfortable. I'm one of them.
The arguments: in emulator, especially emulator with debugger (Steem Debugger) you have practically total control over 'machine' - can stop, trace whenever want, without need for install some tracing SW . That's especially useful for assembler programmers, who can follow well disassembled trace output. And I guess that tracing of some higher level language code is possible too - better than on real HW.
Emulator can be set on much higher speed than real HW - helps in compiling, assembling what can be very long in case of complex SW. And that needs to be done usually many-many times.
It is very easy to change TOS version with emulators. So, you can test your SW in all common TOS versions in short time.
Can do editing and other things on high-res screen, with desired editor.

Of course, there are things not possible with emulators: you can not test how it works on Mega STE for instance, since it is not emulated. And no emulator what is 100% accurate. with every special code (demos in first place). Or some special HW add-on.
But emulator can help even in such cases - can do part(s) which work on regular HW, doing some partial tests, then complete it and perform final tests with real HW. Still will be more efficient. This is what I did in many cases.
In short: real HW is needed. Emulator/debugger is what can help a lot, and make it more efficient. Releasing SW without testing on real HW is risky. I remember such cases, and there were problems in some.

Any constructive discussion is welcome :D
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Re: Atari SW programming: on real HW or in emul/debug. ?

Post by exxos » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:25 pm

I wrote GB6 in steem. Basically because I use notepad ** for coding. A lot easier navigation and copy/paste quick in right click menus etc. compiling is of course under 3 seconds with steem fast-forward option. So for me using emulator is far easier and quicker. Final testing is of course on real hardware.

**Plus the fonts are nicer in notepad :lol:
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

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Re: Atari SW programming: on real HW or in emul/debug. ?

Post by Petari » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:41 pm

Yes, Notepad is easy for use, and actually you can set what font to use. But it becomes slow with longer files - over 200 KB . I have some 800 KB long ASM sources. Funny how simple thing like inserting new line can take 3-4 seconds on 4 GHz machine :shock: So, I use then rather Wordpad.
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Re: Atari SW programming: on real HW or in emul/debug. ?

Post by exxos » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:07 pm

Notepad++ I actually use...

https://notepad-plus-plus.org/
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
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Re: Atari SW programming: on real HW or in emul/debug. ?

Post by DrF » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:33 pm

Petari wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:41 pm
Yes, Notepad is easy for use, and actually you can set what font to use. But it becomes slow with longer files - over 200 KB . I have some 800 KB long ASM sources. Funny how simple thing like inserting new line can take 3-4 seconds on 4 GHz machine :shock: So, I use then rather Wordpad.
Crimson Editor I use :

http://www.crimsoneditor.com/

Showing its age now though :(

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Re: Atari SW programming: on real HW or in emul/debug. ?

Post by stephen_usher » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:30 pm

So... no-one using vi(1) or emacs(1) ? :D

I must admit that if I were developing using an emulator I'd probably want the full UNIX/Linux toolset, such as make(1) and a revision control system. The assembler would probably have to be gas though. Of course, these days you can install Linux (Ubuntu and some others) under Windows 10 as a Microsoft supported system and get the best of both worlds.
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Re: Atari SW programming: on real HW or in emul/debug. ?

Post by Forgottenmyname » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:57 pm

No Steam on Mac :cry:

I have been using Hatari though for desktop stuff, like rom splitting etc, not tried coding on it yet. In fact, not coded a thing on the ST yet, it used to be Devpac on an Amiga 500 and 1200 back in the day.

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